By Anthony Nwachukwu
Buoyed by the Federal Government’s recent financial autonomy to the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), the agency’s Lagos Area Office has urged the remodeling of its facilities to suit its high-scale business environment and aid its fresh mandate to improve revenue generation.
Placing this request to the Sen. Binta Garba-led NIWA Board and the Managing Director, Dr. George Moghalu, the Lagos Area Manager, Mrs. Sarat Braimah, said the area office was due for remodeling, especially as it is located in the centre of business in Lagos.
This followed Garba’s disclosure of the new development in Lagos, where she noted that the autonomy would enable the agency raise its revenue and remit to the federation account, and also urged the NIWA Lagos to increase its annual revenue from N1 billion to N2 billion.
Excited at the autonomy, she said “they can now raise revenue to take care of themselves and also give a fraction into the Federal Government coffers.”
Similarly, Dr. Moghalu assured that the agency would grow stronger with its new autonomy from IPPIS, stating: “Our leaving the IPPIS is a basis to work harder and make more money.
“This is because we are now going to pay ourselves. If we want to starve, then we will starve. If we want to get our salaries, then we’ll work harder to get our salaries.
“We in NIWA believe very strongly that the marine has many potentials that we need to key into to be able to expand those aspects of our economy. We are doing everything we can to be able to achieve that.
“We realised that the resources available to do that will not be sufficient. (Therefore), we have opened contacts with agencies and companies that are interested in working with us.”
Though confident of exceeding these expectations, Braimah has expressed the need for a befitting area office to suit the ever-upscaling Lagos business environment, including the replacement of its generator, which she said was now over 20 years old, as well as more security personnel to man the jetties.
Others are: more operational vehicles as “naturally, people don’t want to pay tax, you have to chase them around to ensure they pay,” and a slipway, which will guarantee adequate repairs for the area’s marine boats, as the one in use belongs to a client.
“We also need to establish our presence in Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry and Agbara. We currently don’t have jetties in these places but only in Marina, Tin-Can, Apapa and Maroko,” Braimah further explained. “We need more jetties for the areas where we currently lack presence.”
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